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Consumer Credit Risk Drops to Lowest Level Since 2005

TransUnion released its Credit Risk Index, which measures aggregate credit risk in the nation. The report released Wednesday concluded that credit risk dropped at the end of 2013 to the lowest level since 2005. The index dropped to 110.10 in the fourth quarter of 2013, down nearly 9 percent from the 120.64 reading from Q4 2012.

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Big Changes at Freddie, Fannie Sought by Investor

Bruce Berkowitz, managing member and chief investment officer of Fairholme Capital Management, sent a letter to both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac on Monday, urging the directors to "act in the best interests of each company and in accordance with accepted best practices for corporate governance."

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Foreclosures Decrease as Market Recovers

DataQuick revealed its monthly Property Intelligence Report (PIR), showing that foreclosures have decreased in 31 of the 42 reporting markets over the last month, quarter, and year. Along with a general decrease in foreclosures across the measured markets, DataQuick reports that January home price growth has leveled off in nearly all markets, even turning negative in others.

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A More Efficient You: A Guide to Becoming a More Efficient Law Firm In 2014

As Webster's dictionary defines it, efficiency is the extent to which time, effort, or cost is well used for the intended task or purpose. Something we perhaps all strive for, but something of which we also can easily lose sight. We are deluged with the daily necessities of work: the email, phone calls, meetings, and other distractions that make our days fly by. So, when do we have a chance to pause and reflect on whether we are personally operating efficiently, or the time to review if our businesses are operating efficiently?

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2015 HUD Budget Proposal Reveals New Fee, Program

2015 HUD

U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan revealed HUD's fiscal year 2015 budget proposal on Tuesday in a conference call. "HUD's FY2015 budget request helps to create opportunity for all Americans by providing housing, capital investments, and critical services for millions of families," Donovan said.

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HARP-Eligible Loans Decline in 2013

The Data and Analytics Division of Black Knight Financial Services released its Mortgage Monitor Report, which looked at data as of the end of January, 2014. The report found that Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) eligible loans have shrunk throughout the year, noting "a general decline in the overall 'refinancible' population of both traditional and HARP-eligible borrowers with associated loan origination volumes dropping in both categories as well."

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Fifth Bank of the Year Fails; First in Pennsylvania

Vantage Point Bank of Horsham, Pennsylvania was closed Friday by the Pennsylvania Department of Banking and Securities. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) was appointed as the receiver. The FDIC entered into a purchase and assumption agreement with First Choice Bank of Mercerville, New Jersey to assume all of the deposits of Vantage Point Bank.

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CFPB Reform Bill Passes in the House

Some changes may be on the horizon for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). The U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 3193, The Consumer Financial Freedom and Washington Accountability Act, which would bring more "accountability and transparency," according to Representative Sean Duffy (R-Wisc), the bill's sponsor.

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January Construction Spending Up .1% from December

A new report by the Census Bureau shows that construction spending for the month of January has increased. The government’s latest report shows spending on all construction projects was up 0.1 percent from December, an estimated seasonally adjusted annual rate of $943.1 billion.

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